EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS


Patents Roundup: Bad, Destructive System; Microsoft and Apple Revisited

Posted in America, Apple, Asia, Law, Microsoft, Patents at 10:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: News about patents and patentors that affect GNU/Linux

Broken System

UNREST CAUSED by this broken patent system is beginning to be better realised as bubbles are bursting and real assets get appreciated more than paper. In regard to ownership of areas in mathematics (notably with software patents), SD Time reports that “experts mull changes to [the] software patent process” and Professor Moglen is among those who are quoted on the subject:

“These so-called patents grant ownership rights over ideas that have no reflection in the physical world other than ‘I own the math,’ ” said Eben Moglen, founder of the Software Freedom Law Center and a professor of law at Columbia Law School. “If everyone goes looking for more in a game of phony real estate, hell will follow.”

Moving on and looking elsewhere, we find even broader complaints that public knowledge is gradually being scooped up and privatised.

The phrase ‘or protection through established means’ is the most troubling, because it ignores of the decades old success of FOSS, Free Open Source Software, in the computer industry, and of the history of science itself which regarded knowledge as a commons, until the recent incursion of Thatcherite economics. Both of these are more far more ‘established’ than the recent American fad for software patents.

Destructive System

Like all broken systems (such as the banking industry nowadays), there are victims and it is not pleasant. Here is the end of one pointless never-ending fight where almost a billion dollars will be paid as a result.

The vicious fight between Broadcom and Qualcomm over patents has resulted in peace breaking out, worldwide.


Qualcomm will shell out $891 million to Broadcom over a four year period and the terms of the agreement are as follows.

It’s becoming more than a national issue if and when, as The Economist suggests, a rising superpower like China mimics the behaviour seen abroad and starts suing companies across the border.

Chinese companies are enforcing patents against foreign firms

FOR over a decade Schneider Electric of France has bombarded a Chinese firm, Chint Group, with lawsuits accusing it of copying its technology. But the tables turned on April 15th when the two companies settled an infringement case—with the French firm forking over $23m to Chint. The rich settlement against a foreign firm is a landmark. It serves as a reminder that Chinese companies are just as eager to defend patents as Western firms, and that China’s intellectual-property regime has been tightened in recent years.

This is not the first time that The Economist warns about patent wars in China.


One of the pro-Microsoft bloggers — one which InformationWeek employs to be precise — is now arguing that Microsoft is falsely claiming “innovation” when in fact it's just a term that Microsoft executives are being tamed to recite.

Microsoft Product Improvement Is Not Innovation


Wow. To those who say that there are no Microsoft fans, the messages from my last blog entry prove you wrong. One of the complaints was my assertion that Microsoft does not innovate anymore; perhaps the problem is in the definition of that word. To me, slow but steady improvement in existing products and services isn’t innovation, it’s maintenance and support. Those are important things, no doubt, especially to existing customers, but they’re not the same as innovation.

LinuxToday brought back the essay called “InNOTvators.”

Episode one: Whatcha talkin’ about, Vincent?

Vincent David’s lonely quest to protect an innovative world from the clutches of free software.

News Item: Microsoft Platforms Group Vice President Jim Allchin says that Open Source software stifles innovation and threatens Intellectual Property.

The scene: A table for two at Dale’s Dry Donut Deli, No Dunking Allowed, somewhere in lower left middle Montana, early, early morning. Across the table sits Vincent David, former Manager of Wildly Implausible Conspiracy Theories at Microsoft’s Redmond HQ.

Microsoft’s Friends

Not only Microsoft is trying to use software patents against its competition’s right to exist. Blackboard, which was funded by Microsoft, is doing the same type of thing [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7], but it has just suffered a setback:

In Preliminary Ruling, Patent Office Rejects Blackboard’s Claims


Some observers say that even if Blackboard ultimately loses the patent battle, it will have succeeded in distracting and weakening its rival through the lengthy court proceedings.

Another ally of Microsoft is the British Library [1, 2]. A reader has just warned us that they too promote intellectual monopolies and he sent us the following photo to prove it (from 2007).

British Library


Apple may be portrayed as a “pirate” or even a victim at the moment, but Apple is to a large extent part of this problem. Right now it claims to have ‘innovated’ Web silencing because there is a patent filing.

Apple wants to give you the opportunity to selectively block web-based audio while allowing you to listen to any other audio source of your choosing.

The EFF is meanwhile assaulting Apple for antagonising customers’ rights.

The operator of a wiki website has filed a federal lawsuit that accuses Apple of trying to squelch protected speech after it demanded the removal of posts discussing ways hobbyists can make iPods and iPhones work with software other than iTunes.

Apple — like Microsoft — has already used patents offensively against Linux or Linux-powered devices. Intimidation too is a form of aggression.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New

  1. Željko Topić Tries to Do to EPO Staff What He Did in Croatia, Now Crushes Staff Assembly in The Hague

    Reminder to European Patent Office (EPO) staff that the EPO's management has a history of union-busting and serious violations of the rules; a call to join protests later today and later this week

  2. The Spanish EPO Scandal - Part I

    How García-Escudero Marquez, the sister of a Spanish Senate speaker, got controversially appointed to succeed the (now) EPO's Vice-President Alberto Casado Cerviño

  3. Media Alert: IAM 'Magazine' Does Not Protect Sources

    An important discussion regarding the role of IAM (Intellectual Asset Management) in the debate about EPO abuses

  4. Richard Stallman and Eben Moglen on the Microsoft-Red Hat Deal

    Founder of Free software and author of the GPL (respectively) comment on what Microsoft and Red Hat have done regarding patents

  5. Links 30/11/2015: Linux 4.4 RC3, Zaragoza Moving to FOSS

    Links for the day

  6. Public Protests by European Patent Office (EPO) Staff Weaken the EPO's Attacks on the Media

    Where things stand when it comes to the EPO's standoff against publications and why it's advisable for EPO staff to stage standoffs against their high-level management, which is behind a covert crackdown on independent media (while greasing up corporate media)

  7. Why the European Patent Office Cannot Really Sue and Why It's All -- More Likely Than Not -- Just SLAPP

    Legal analysis by various people explains why the EPO's attack dogs are all bark but no bite when it comes to threats against publishers

  8. How the EPO Twisted Defamation Law in a Failed Bid to Silence Techrights

    Using external legal firms (not the EPO's own lawyers), the EPO has been trying -- and failing -- to silence prominent critics

  9. East Texas and Its Cautionary Tale: Software Patents Lead to Patent Trolls

    Lessons from US media, which focuses on the dire situation in Texas courts, and how these relate to the practice of granting patents on software (the patent trolls' favourite weapon)

  10. The Latest EPO Spin: Staff Protesters Compared to 'Anti-Patent Campaigners' or 'Against UPC'

    Attempts to characterise legitimate complaints about the EPO's management as just an effort to derail the patent office itself, or even the patent system (spin courtesy of EPO and its media friends at IAM)

  11. The Serious Implication of Controversial FTI Consulting Contract: Every Press Article About EPO Could Have Been Paid for by EPO

    With nearly one million dollars dedicated in just one single year to reputation laundering, one can imagine that a lot of media coverage won't be objective, or just be synthetic EPO promotion, seeded by the EPO or its peripheral PR agents

  12. EPO: We Have Always Been at War With Europe (or Europeans)

    The European Patent Office (EPO) with its dubious attacks on free speech inside Europe further unveiled for the European public to see (as well as the international community, which oughtn't show any respect to the EPO, a de facto tyranny at the heart of Europe)

  13. What Everyone Needs to Know About the EPO's New War on Journalism

    A detailed list of facts or observations regarding the EPO's newfound love for censorship, even imposed on outside entities, including bloggers (part one of several to come)

  14. EPO Did Not Want to Take Down One Techrights Article, It Wanted to Take Down Many Articles Using Intimidation, SLAPPing, and Psychological Manipulation Late on a Friday Night

    Recalling the dirty tactics by which the European Patent Office sought to remove criticism of its dirty secret deals with large corporations, for whom it made available and was increasingly offering preferential treatment

  15. The European Private Office: What Was Once a Public Service is Now Crony Capitalism With Private Contractors

    The increasing privatisation of the European Patent Office (EPO), resembling what happens in the UK to the NHS, shows that the real goal is to crush the quality of the service and instead serve a bunch of rich and powerful interests, in defiance of the original goals of this well-funded (by taxpayers) organisation

  16. Microsoft Once Again Disregards People's Settings and Abuses Them, Again Pretends It's Just an Accident

    A conceited corporation, Microsoft, shows not only that it exploits its botnet to forcibly download massive binaries without consent but also that it vainly overrides people's privacy settings to spy on these people, sometimes with help from malicious hardware vendors such as Dell or Lenovo

  17. When the EPO Liaised With Capone (Literally) to Silence Bloggers, Delete Articles

    A dissection of the EPO's current media strategy, which involves not only funneling money into the media but also actively silencing opposing views

  18. Blogger Who Wrote About the EPO's Abuses Retires

    Bloggers' independent rebuttal capability against a media apparatus that is deep in the EPO's pocket is greatly diminished as Jeremy Phillips suddenly retires

  19. Leaked: EPO Award of €880,000 “in Order to Address the Media Presence of the EPO” (Reputation Laundering)

    The European Patent Office, a public body, wastes extravagant amounts of money on public relations (for 'damage control', like FIFA's) in an effort to undermine critics, not only among staff (internally) but also among the media (externally)

  20. Links 27/11/2015: KDE Plasma 5.5 Plans, Oracle Linux 7.2

    Links for the day

  21. Documents Needed: Contract or Information About EPO PR/Media Campaign to Mislead the World

    Rumour that the EPO spends almost as much as a million US dollars “with some selected press agencies to refurbish the image of the EPO”

  22. Guest Post: The EPO, EPC, Unitary Patent and the Money Issue

    Remarks on the Unitary Patent (UP) and the lesser-known aspects of the EPO and EPC, where the “real issue is money, about which very little is discussed in public...”

  23. Saving the Integrity of the European Patent Office (EPO)

    Some timely perspective on what's needed at the European Patent Office, which was detabilised by 'virtue' of making tyrants its official figureheads

  24. A Call for Bloggers and Journalists: Did EPO Intimidate and Threaten You Too? Please Speak Out.

    An effort to discover just how many people out there have been subjected to censorship and/or self-censorship by EPO aggression against the media

  25. European Patent Office (EPO) a “Kingdom Above the EU Countries, a Tyranny With ZERO Accountability”

    Criticism of the EPO's thuggish behaviour and endless efforts to crush dissenting voices by all means available, even when these means are in clear violation of international or European laws

  26. Links 26/11/2015: The $5 Raspberry Pi Zero, Running Sans Systemd Gets Hard

    Links for the day

  27. EPO Management Needs to Finally Recognise That It Itself is the Issue, Not the Staff or the Unions

    A showing of dissent even from the representatives whom the EPO tightly controls and why the latest union-busting goes a lot further than most people realise

  28. Even the EPO Central Staff Committee is Unhappy With EPO Management

    The questions asked by the Central Staff Committee shared for the public to see that not only a single union is concerned about the management's behaviour

  29. The Broken Window Economics of Patent Trolls Are Already Coming to Europe

    The plague which is widely known as patent trolls (non-practicing entities that prey on practicing companies) is being spread to Europe, owing in part to misguided policies and patent maximalists

  30. Debunking the EPO's Latest Marketing Nonsense From Les Échos and More on Benoît Battistelli's Nastygram to French Politician

    Our detailed remarks about French brainwash from the EPO's media partner (with Benoît Battistelli extensively quoted) and the concerns increasingly raised by French politicians, who urge for national or even continental intervention


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time


Recent Posts